Know your farm boundaries! It seems like a simple statement, but it can become the most important thing you can know about your homestead or farm. Trust me – we learned this through bitter experience!
What to look for?
The corner points of the boundaries of each and every property should be marked with a survey ‘monument’ – normally a survey peg driven into the ground. Most survey pegs are iron bars driven into the ground then a cap put onto the top of the bar. These survey pegs can later be marked with some survey tape tied to a nearby tree.
Know your farm boundaries – find the pegs!
When we bought our farm here in Maine, the first thing I did was hunt down each and every survey peg. I found all of them – six in total – so I now know EXACTLY the boundary points of our place.
Don’t trust anything BUT the survey pegs!
Fence lines, stone walls, driveways and the such may appear to be along the boundary of your property…but they may NOT be! Often boundary fences are placed where someone once THOUGHT the boundary to be and not along the true boundary line. At the end of the day (and if things ever get ‘nasty’ with your neighbors) only the survey pegs will count.
Don’t move a survey peg!
In most places it is against the law to remove or move a survey peg – and you should treat them with the greatest respect! So much can rest on the location of that peg – maybe not for you, but for people well into the future.
If you can’t find them – get a survey!
If you can’t find all the survey pegs then you may need to get a survey done. Firstly, get a hold of the property survey map from your local authority. This will show when and where the survey ‘monuments’ were placed – and it may help you to find the pegs which could be now old and hidden in undergrowth. If you find one or two, you maybe able to work out the location of others using a tape measure and a compass to locate EXACTLY the other corner points. However, if you can’t find the pegs, then a solution is to pay to get a survey done. Depending on what needs to be done this can cost a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars – but it could save you a lot in the future.
If you want to read some stories about disputed property boundaries, read this. If you don’t want this sort of thing to happen to you then….know your farm boundaries!